By Richard Rourk
More than 200 residents came out to celebrate the Town of Unicoi’s 25th Anniversary as a town on Friday, Oct. 11.
“Guests enjoyed hotdogs, live music and games, as well as a fireworks display to conclude the event,” Town of Unicoi Communications and Programs Director Ashley Shelton said.
Town of Unicoi Mayor Johnny Lynch welcomed everyone to celebrate the milestone with the town.
“Our 25th anniversary is a big deal for us. We are one of the youngest towns in Tennessee,” Lynch said. “We are fortunate tonight, we have a good crowd, and it’s a good celebration.”
According to Lynch, the anniversary allows the citizens of Unicoi to reflect on what it means to be a member of the community.
“We are very proud of our town and all that we have accomplished,” Lynch said. “We are situated in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I’m so proud of our people and what we have accomplished.”
For Shelton, the celebration was a way for the town to express its appreciation to its citizens.
“There is something for everyone here,” Shelton said. “The Town of Unicoi has really done a lot with a little over the years and it’s time to take a moment to celebrate the progress we’ve made as a community.”
As part of Friday’s celebration, the Unicoi Ruritan served a hot dog dinner while residents enjoyed live music from the Monday Night Cabin Pickers, the Sheltons and headliner Spivey Mountain Boys. The Tanasi Art Gallery remained open inside the visitor center and the Mountain Harvest Kitchen gave tours to the community.
According to Shelton, children enjoyed playing on the free inflatable jump house and slide. Families were able to take a tour of a real fire truck, hosted by the Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department. Attendees were encouraged to swing by the photo booth for a commemorative keepsake of the town’s 25th birthday.
The celebration concluded with a fireworks display that lit up the sky as the Town of Unicoi looked forward to the future. During the 25th anniversary celebration, Lynch swore-in and welcomed Andy Slagle as the first Town of Unicoi police chief.
According to Shelton, the Town of Unicoi extends special thanks to the Unicoi Ruritan, Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department, Unaka Mountain Search and Rescue, Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Forest Service, Unicoi History Group and the Unicoi Business Alliance for helping make this momentos celebration possible.
“Additional thanks to event sponsors, Food City and Food Lion, and the many volunteers that make these types of events,” Shelton said.
For more information about upcoming town events please follow the Town of Unicoi on Facebook and Youtube, contact Patricia Bennett at 735-0517 or email [email protected]